Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Woods

Oscar is content with his life.  Born into a impoverished neighborhood where books were considered just a luxury, he has managed to escape and now lives in Oxford.  Oscar is incredibly bright, but of course, has no funds to attend school.  He works in a nursing home where he has befriended a former professor and is educating himself from the professor's library. 

One evening he is walking past a chapel when he hears the most beautiful music he has ever experienced.  Slipping into the chapel, he revels in the organ music and the mastery of the artist playing it.  Afterwards, he meets a girl, Iris, waiting outside.  She is the sister of the musician who just played, Eden. 

So it begins.  Before he knows it, Oscar is drawn into Iris and Eden's lives.  He is accepted into their circle of friends and spends weekends in luxury at their ancestral home.  He has never loved anyone as he does Iris.  Eden, who has an exalted opinion of himself, he can take or leave, but Eden is the focus of the circle's life; his high opinion echoed by the others.

As time progresses, Iris starts to share her concerns about her brother.  Eden is not just conceited; he truly believes that he is so special that he can work his will on anything.  He is insistent that he can cure physical ailments by music therapy, and at first his ideas seem to be borne out.  However, as time goes on, cracks in his facade of superiority and invincibleness start to emerge, and he spins further and further out of control.

Benjamin Woods has written an incredible debut novel.  He has recreated the brooding, haunting air of Gothic mysteries while updating the environment to that of modern day England.  His slow revealing of the mystery surrounding the Bellwether family and Eden's unraveling is masterful.  This book is recommended for readers who enjoy dark, suspenseful novels.

No comments: